Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Free Swag”? Yes, it’s probably my favorite track on the record.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song? I wouldn’t say any particular event inspired me for this tune. This was one of those where I had a certain groove in my head, which was more the drum feel than anything. To me it’s funky, but it swings a little. It has a certain swagger to it, hence the name.
Any plans to release a video for the single? We’re actually in the process right now of planning out a video for “Free Swag.” There are some really cool ideas floating around that I’m excited about; the main challenge so far is just trying to coordinate the schedules of 10 people.
The single comes off your new album Shut Up About The Sun – what’s the story behind the title? Aside from the music itself and the performances, we try not to take anything too seriously with this project. I’ve been in bands where we spent countless hours over-analyzing band names and album titles. With this group, both were names we thought just sounded funny. So we went with that.
How was the recording and writing process? They were great. I think like most people, I have a certain sound or vision in my head when I write. In getting this group of musicians together, they executed everything more than perfectly. What came out on the record sounds far better than it did in my head. We had a lot of fun recording, though it went fairly quick.
Why did you take so much time to settle down and become a band? Funny, I don’t think we took that much time. In forming a group, I never start with finding the musicians until I have a catalogue of tunes started. I wanted to write for a few months before making some calls, and after we got together we started playing out pretty quickly. We did it in reverse order from what I normally do. Meaning in this case, we went into the studio first, then started playing live afterwards.
What led you to play old school progressive funk music? Hmmm . . . the short version would be this. I was really into blues and classic rock in high school, and then I discovered Phish during my freshman year of college. I got really into them, which introduced me to other bands in that same scene, including Galactic, Medeski Martin & Wood, and stuff like that. In hearing all this stuff for the first time, it gradually pushed me to the world of jazz, which I studied for years (and still do). In the meantime I had always grown up with oldies and soul music on the radio, so in coming full circle I think everything tied together nicely. Jazz meets jam meets funk and soul. It really came down to deciding to play what I love the most; I kinda cherry picked my favorite things about music. And of course, who doesn’t love James Brown?
Did the sun play any role in the album? Aside from sustaining life on the planet, warmth, a well lit work space and heat most days, the sun played a very minimal role in this record.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics? The inspiration just came from choosing my favorite things about music. I like songs that groove. I like stuff that makes people dance. I like interesting harmonies and playing with killer musicians. I like funk, listening to some ripping solos, and interesting song-writing. To me, this record has all of that.
Any plans to hit the road? Nothing official yet, but we’re definitely in the process of lining some stuff up.
What else is happening next in Space Orphan’s world? We’re just constantly working on the sound, tightening things up and moving forward. We’ve gotten to play some shows with some great bands like George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, and have some stuff coming up with some of the guys from The Motet and Big Gigantic and things like that. Just trying to make great music, and to get it out and heard by people.